There's probably a different or perhaps even proper way to describe these pasties, but this style reminds me of those infinity-edge swimming pools where the water just sort of disappears over the edge of the pool. So, that's what I'm calling 'em. Infinity Pasties, or Infinity Assels as the case may be. Here's a picture of the finished product.
Do you see how the outer edges of the pasties gradually fade to tulle? That's what creates the infinity effect. When set against skin, the tulle basically disappears and makes the pasties look as though they are sort of floating on the skin. They also graduate from an intense sparkle at the centre to a gentle sprinkle of shine at the outer edges. Here's a quick video overview of all the supplies I used. You can skip the video if you like and go straight to the step-by-step, but you might find the video gives you a better sense of context before beginning. Also, remember you can click on the individual photos if you need to see more detail.
Start by tracing out the diameter of the pastie on your base material and, cut them out. A shot glass is often a good diameter. Or in this case, the lid of a plastic storage container.
Note the centre by folding it twice into a pie wedge and mark the point as you see in the following pics.
Make sure you have a glue-proof surface before proceeding with this next step. Plastic or parchment paper are just fine for this. Then coat the side of the pastie that does not have the pen mark on it (you will need to be able to find the centre) with a hefty amount of Gem-Tac glue.
Use a small paint brush to completely and evenly spread the glue across the whole surface. You want it completely coated in glue. Then you are simply going to put the glue side down directly onto a small square of sparkle tulle. How big the tulle needs to be depends entirely on how large you want the infinity edge to be.
Do not be remotely concerned about the ooze of glue that will spread out from underneath the pastie circle, in fact you actually want this ooze factor to spread onto the tulle.
Now pick up your pastie form with the fresh layer of wet glue and tulle, and press it, glue side down, into the glitter. Sort of like you are breading a pork chop.
Do this for each pastie, and then set aside somewhere to dry (glitter side up) before you come back and cut through the base, the tulle, and the glitter, to the marked centre point
Notice how the glitter actually extends beyond the actual base circle? That's where the glue ooze I mentioned earlier picked up glitter in the 'breading' process. This is the first step towards softening the edge of the pastie and helps with the infinity effect more than a crisp hard circle. Does that make any sense at all??
Overlap the two cut edges, with a generous amount of glue to create the classic cone shape. Let the glue ooze past the overlapping point, spread the glue along the exposed cut edge, and dunk that edge back into the glitter. This camouflages the cut edge of the foam that I used. This is another reason I never normally use craft foam for pasties, the overlapping edge are too thick. In this case because of the amount of texture I'm creating, this cut edge won't show up at all.
Clip the pasties with some sort of clamp, and set aside to dry.
Once the glue is dry, I use a pair of scissors to cut the outer tulle edge into a flower petal shape. This allows the tulle to lie smoothly against the curve of a breast or butt with no wrinkling or puckering of the fabric.
Now, completely coat the underside of the pastie with glue, using a small paint brush to spread evenly, and press it into the bowl of glitter. Set aside to dry. Once dry, paint two more coats of glue (WITHOUT adding more glitter!) to the underside over top of the glitter. Allow to dry between coats. Yes, this makes the inside of your pastie sparkly, but it also serves to create a nice smooth yet slightly sticky surface to which pastie tape will firmly adhere. Tape simply will not stick to that craft foam I used as the base. This is what the underside will look like once the glue has dried.
Pretty, right? Sure, nobody will know it's there, but it's kinda like wearing pretty underwear to work... YOU know it's there.
Now all that's left to do is decorate the front side (the best part!) and add the tassel.
If you didn't watch the video clip at the beginning of this post, you probably should do so now. It outlines exactly what mix of stones and beads I used.
This is the part that's hardest to teach, because I just sort of go by instinct at this point. some things to keep in mind as you start adding elements.
1) Start at the outer edge of the circle with the largest stones first.
2) Use the cut flower petals as a guide as you build up layers of different elements. For example, I first placed a large pearl at the base between each petal. Then I added my largest flat-back crystals between them.
3) Use your smallest elements on the flower petals in much the same way. Try not to over-embellish the petals, keep it light, that's what creates the infinity effect. Look closely at the image below. I placed four opal crystals at the base of each petal, then I added two AB crystals just outside of that. A single 9SS crystal is at the centre top of each petal.
4) The single most important thing to keep in mind with respect to creating such depth and dimension is the variety of stones you use. This little pastie has eleven different varieties of stones. Different sizes and colours all within a similar palette. The ingredients of this particular pastie recipe is as follows:
- Stick on craft pearls (but use glue! don't expect them to stick by themselves)
- Swarovski clear flat back crystals in three sizes 20ss, 16ss and 9ss
- Swarovski AB flat back crystals in three sizes 20ss, 16ss, and 10ss
- Swarovski opal flat back crystals in 12ss
- Preciosa opal flat back crystals in 12 ss (Swarovski and Preciosa are two slightly different colours even though they have the same name)
- Swarovski crystal beads in AB and a light champagne colour.
The thing you need to understand is that different sized stones give off a different degree and character of sparkle. When stage lights hit two Swarovski AB crystals that are the same colour, but different size, they reflect light differently. It's this principle that makes the pastie look so much more complex than it really is. Also, because I applied a layer of high caliber of glitter underneath the stones instead of just a shiny fabric, it creates much more dimension. A quick look at the pastie below, and you really have to struggle to see what is glitter and what is crystal. Also, you can't really create a fade effect with fabric the way you can with glitter. Make sense??
There's no right and wrong when it comes to embellishment, so long as you start with your largest elements and work towards the smallest ones while working in concentric circles around the pastie. Just be sure to remember to leave a blank spot at the centre top of the pastie where you will insert your tassel!
It takes a few days to make these due to the glue drying time required, but it really is very easy. If you don't feel like making your own, I'd be happy to make some for you in whatever colours you like. Given the quality of materials I use, I'd have to charge $100 Canadian per pair. With today's exchange rate, that equals $77 in U.S. funds. But seriously, give it a go yourself! Have fun with it.